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Bah! Humbug! National Christmas tree shortage hits Jacksonville businesses

It takes 10 years to grow a tree, so 2008 recession affecting this year’s supply

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It may be more difficult to find a live Christmas tree this year, and it may cost more, as there is a national shortage hitting some Jacksonville-area businesses.

The U.S. recession in 2008 drove many tree farms out of business or limited the number of seeds they planted. Since it takes 10 years to grow a Christmas tree, it’s affecting this December’s supply.

For the Powell family, there is nothing quite like a live Christmas tree.

“We are looking for probably a 5-foot tree," Amber Powell said. “We want it to be good and we want it to smell good."

The Powells came to Severts, a supplier with its own farms. Severts survived the national recession in 2008, but many farmers across the country didn’t, including the supplier for the eight local Hagan Ace Hardware stores. This is the first year owner Jacob Hagan didn’t get his Christmas tree at his own business.

He said Christmas trees are usually a strong part of December sales.

“It’s definitely going to hurt this year,” Hagan said.

Liberty Landscaping on San Jose Boulevard secured a stock of Christmas trees, but when they’re gone, they’re gone.

“I have had a few isolated incidents where we had some customers come in and say they couldn’t find trees where they normally find them,” said Liberty employee Tharin Hessenauer.

An employee with Holiday’s Christmas Trees told News4Jax it sourced many of its trees from Canada this year.

The national Christmas tree shortage means prices are up this year. They have more than doubled in the last 10 years. According to Square.com, the day you buy your tree also determines the price. The Monday after Thanksgiving is the most expensive day to buy a tree and, like you may have guessed, the cheapest day to get a tree is Christmas Eve. But with fewer in supply this year, waiting to buy may mean you’re out of a tree.

Hagan hopes to stock trees again next year and will be watching farms closely.

“We’re going to pray that we get Christmas trees," Hagan said. “Christmas trees, our live trees, are a big part of our business, and we’re going to miss them this year, but we’re going to do everything we can to have full supply next year even if they give us a limit.”


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